League Scoring: 4 Points or 6 Points Per Passing Touchdown

Passing Touchdown

Know your league’s settings. It’s the First Commandment for fantasy football, but it’s also a great reminder in 2QB and superflex leagues. The one setting you need to know, above all else, is whether your league awards four or six points per passing touchdown.

Those two points per touchdown may seem insignificant, but in today’s pass-heavy NFL, that could mean almost 100 points over the course of the season. In 2013, fourteen quarterbacks passed for 24 touchdowns or more. That’s at least 48 extra points, per quarterback, if you’re in a six-point league. As a point of reference, only 66 points separated Drew Brees (QB2) and Cam Newton (QB3) in 2013.

6 Points Makes a Big Difference

I bring up Newton and Brees because they represent two different approaches to the quarterback position. Some fantasy owners prefer the heavy passing style of the Saints offense, so Drew Brees slots higher in their rankings. Others love the rushing points Cam provides. While I think there are merits to both, your league’s scoring rules should dictate your preferences. Let’s take a look at why.

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Last year the gap between the second-best quarterback and the third-best jumped thirty points if you changed the settings to award just two more points per passing touchdown. While it’s not a massive change, those thirty points meant just short of two points per game.

In a four-point league, Cam Newton – and other running quarterbacks – provide a strong option, because every one of their rushing touchdowns counts for six, which helps them make up for weaker passing numbers. But if your league gives six points for every passing touchdown, Cam and his friends are worth far less to your team.

Regardless of your own preferences on quarterbacks, let your league’s settings guide your draft plan. Four points? Take the quarterback you like. Six points? You have to take the guys with elite passing numbers.

How About QBs Versus Other Positions?

It is also important to notice what the passing scoring setting will do to the relative value of the quarterback position. A six-point league will make the top half of quarterbacks roughly 50 points more valuable than they would be in a four-point league, while it won’t change the scoring you get out of your other positions.

The numbers bear out what we’d expect: quarterbacks are much more valuable relative to other positions in leagues that award six points per passing touchdowns. This is important information to keep in mind when you’re creating your pre-draft lists. You need to rank quarterbacks much more highly overall if you’re awarded six points per touchdown.

Insofar as this article only looked at examples from last year, it is inconclusive. But the math remains consistent every year — 6-point passing leagues raise the value of the elite signal callers. If your league gives you six for every touchdown, look quarterback early and often.

Now that you’re armed with information, get out there and prepare for your home league’s draft, always keeping in mind the First Commandment: Know your league’s rules!

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